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Roanoke group trains community on how to deal with trauma left behind by gun violence

Organizers saying understand where people come from can help understand where they’re going

Dealing with the trauma left behind by gun violence
Dealing with the trauma left behind by gun violence

ROANOKE, Va. – Two dozen Roanokers learned how they can help stop the killings in the city by becoming trauma-informed on Thursday.

It’s a method of care that recognizes how people’s past traumas can affect their actions and decisions.

Guard dogs, upstairs and downstairs brains and memory banks all may sound foreign to the untrained. But spend an hour with Taisha Steele and her team and you’ll understand that oftentimes things are more than surface deep.

“Oftentimes there are past experiences or things that have happened to people that manifest or present in a way or what I often call symptoms,” Steele said.

Thursday night they trained the community on being trauma-informed for the Roanoke Gun Violence Prevention Commission. It’s a way of assessing why people do the things they do, and councilman Joe Cobb said it’s one of the key steps in the multi-prong approach to stopping violence.

“How to identify it, how to recognize it within ourselves, how to recognize it within others regardless of the age and then just some basic tools of how to respond to it,” Cobb said.

Violent crime continues to rise in the city of Roanoke with more than 20 shootings since the first of the year. It’s trending upwards nationwide too and Cobb said the community needs to remain focused on the end goal.

“Building relationships and building trusts is enduring, it’s an endurance test if you will so a lot of the work that we’re doing is long term,” Cobb said.

The group knows these lessons won’t change anything alone. But Steele said knowing how to get to the root of the problem gives them a much better chance.

“We are all connected in one-way shape or form and that we all have a responsibility in building relationships and connecting with people that helps people heal,” Steele said.

Click here to find out more about future training sessions.


About the Author:

Shayne Dwyer is an award-winning journalist and a member of the 10 News team since May 2018.